In the general news, Western-friendly civilian protestors fight off a military attack in Kiev, Ukraine, and seems to have prevented a dictatorship that was forming an alliance with Russia. Nearby, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia ended. In the U.S., Facebook acquired an unknown app company, WhatsApp, for $19 B to mostly kill a threat to its business model of offering “free” software in exchange for spying on users.
In healthcare business news, Medtronic (MDT) reported earnings, taking a large write-off for the failed Ardian renal denervation line. Stryker (SYK) acquired yet another company, Berchtold. Also, Actavis (ACT) plans to acquire Forest (FRX) for $25 Billion.
On the data front, Eli Lilly’s (LLY) lung cancer drug, ramucirumab, met endpoints. Also, “Low-T” testosterone drugs, such as Axiron (LLY) and Androgel (ABBV), continue to get bad press with studies showing safety concerns.
From the FDA, Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP) won approval for Northera (droxidopa) to treat hypotension caused by Parkinson’s. Also, it was announced that the regulatory pathway for OTC drugs will be revamped.